Prominent Tannersville resident Michael Lackey Jr.

Contributed photoThe Lackey House

Today’s story is about one of the prominent men in Tannersville back in the later 1800s, early 1900s. Before the story begins, included is a little of his history.

Michael Lackey Jr. was a well-known real estate and insurance man, attorney, cabinetmaker, dry-goods store owner (while spending a short time in Manhattan), and past proprietor of a 100-acre farm, Onteora Glen. For a time, while studying to get his law degree, he taught school in Tannersville. At one point, Lackey had a relatively sizeable Christmas-tree market, shipping from six to ten cars to Manhattan, annually. He was the proprietor of a laundry for a short period, having an exclusive contract with Onteora Park, including thirty cottages and a large inn. In 1892 he traded his farm for the Half-Way House (in between Hunter and Tannersville Villages). He then built a home for his wife, Julia Weller, behind today’s Tannersville Post Office, and the large, corner building at 6067 Main Street, always known as the “Lackey Building.” Lackey’s Drug Store was here, Clara Lackey’s insurance office, multiple little shops, and apartments upstairs. Politically he was a Democrat, being appointed Deputy Sheriff for three years. In 1893 he was appointed Postmaster and kept that position for five years. (Information is taken from “rootsweb.com.”)

The article goes, “Early last Saturday evening, in a room on the ground floor of his residence at Tannersville, Michael Lackey, Jr., was found weltering in blood as the result of two pistol-wounds in the back of his neck, and nothing yet has come to light as to how they were inflicted.”

It continues, “Shortly after 8 o’clock, Mr. and Mrs. Lackey were seated on either side of a table in the dining room, when she proposed that before retiring, he take a light lunch, and went about preparing it. While in the outside kitchen, quite a distance from the dining room, she heard a shot which caused her no concern, as the sound seemed to be outside the house, but after an interval of several seconds another shot rang out and she went at once to the dining room, to find her husband on the floor in the doorway of a connecting room, with a bullet wound on each side of the back of his neck, bleeding profusely but conscious — in fact, able to go into the kitchen, across the hall.

Dr. Hubbard and other assistance were summoned immediately when it was found that one ball was lodged in the neck-muscles, while the other had gone through Mr Lackey’s throat and come out of his mouth, causing excessive hemorrhage. There were spots of blood on the rug under the chair in which he sat when his wife left the room, whereas, in the “den” where he was found, there were quantities of it, and a bullet was embedded in the bookcase near the door; also, here was found a revolver on the floor beside his body.

The injured man is, of course, receiving most careful attention and appears to respond to treatment, so that reports yesterday indicated his recovery, but he seems to be unable to account for the shooting. It is known that he has some bitter personal enemies in Tannersville, but also the fact has been apparent to his friends that for a year or more, he has been in an extremely nervous state.”

After following up with old newspapers, I was unable to find any additional information on this. With the technology available today, the perpetrator would have probably been caught.

Until next week, take care, be thankful, and be kind. You never know your act of kindness may change someone’s life. Thanks for reading.

Stay safe.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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